Is it a food intolerance or foodallergy?

A food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy . Here's how you can tell the difference:

Afood allergy:

  • is a reaction from your immune system (your body's defence against infection) - your immune system mistakenly treats proteins found in food as a threat
  • can trigger typical allergy symptoms , such asa rash, wheezing and itching, after eating just a small amount of the food (these symptoms usually come on rapidly)
  • is often to particular foods common food allergies in adults are to fish and shellfish and nuts, and in childrento milk and eggs as well as to peanuts,other nuts and fish
  • can beserious

A foodintolerance:

  • doesn't involve your immune system there is no allergic reaction, and it is never life-threatening
  • causessymptoms that come onmore slowly , often many hours after eating the problem food
  • only results in symptoms if you eat reasonable amounts of the food (unlike an allergy, where just traces can trigger a reaction)
  • can be caused by many different foods

Read about the diagnosis of food allergies .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018